Hampus Hillerstrom, New LuMind RDS President and CEO Has Strong Connections to Down Syndrome Research

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Hampus brings for-profit drug development expertise, science understanding and a personal passion to lead the organization’s expansion

Marlborough, MA – [September 7, 2017] – LuMind™ Research Down Syndrome Foundation (LuMind RDS) announced today that Hampus Hillerstrom, the Board Vice Chair, has been appointed the organization’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Hillerstrom joins LuMind from the Alzheimer’s-focused biotech company Proclara Biosciences, which he co-founded and served most recently as  Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He will succeed Marla Murasko, the organization’s interim executive director, a long time LuMind supporter and parent advocate who guided the organization through the leadership transition.

Hampus Hillerstrom with son, Oscar
Hampus and Oskar.

“We are thrilled to have Hampus step into this role to carry forward the tremendous scientific momentum and legacy left by the late Dr. Michael Harpold, and are grateful to Marla for her contributions to the LuMind RDS Foundation over the last four months. Hampus brings to this leadership role three years of deep knowledge of the organization serving as a Board member as well as his personal perspective as a parent,” says Ryan Hartman, LuMind RDS Board Chair, “Hampus has a unique set of skills and talent that will be very helpful in this role, including an entrepreneurial drive, fourteen years in the drug development industry, a scientific understanding, a deep network and a lot of fundraising experience.”

Prior to joining LuMind RDS as the new CEO, Hillerstrom co-founded Proclara Biosciences in 2007 where he brought a scientific project from an early academic discovery at Tel Aviv University to the currently ongoing trial of its lead molecule, NPT088, in Alzheimer’s patients. At Proclara he attracted a team of talented individuals to the company and raised $110M to develop a pipeline of highly differentiated molecules for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and systemic amyloidosis.

In a video message posted on the LuMindRDS YouTube Channel YouTube Channel, Hillerstrom shares his vision with the Foundation’s constituents. “I am proud to deepen my involvement with the dedicated team of employees and volunteers who are committed to advancing scientific research for Down syndrome. Building on strong discoveries and developments over the last ten years and on an expanding set of research tools and techniques, we believe that the Down syndrome research field is at the cusp of multiple breakthroughs in better understanding the reasons for the conditions observed, and in develop treatments to address them,” said Hillerstrom, “I am looking forward to furthering an exciting pipeline of groundbreaking projects that can meaningfully improve cognition, memory and independence for people with Down syndrome, building on the pioneering work of the LuMind RDS Foundation under the scientific  leadership of the late Dr. Michael Harpold.”

Hillerstrom joins as LuMind RDS announced in June their largest funding accomplishment to date, granting $1.64 million for 10 research projects at top institutions. This year’s projects include three investigators not previously funded by LuMind RDS in rapidly evolving areas, including understanding learning in infants and toddlers, exploring enabling projects to silence the third chromosome 21, and advancing cutting-edge work on pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and the aberrant effects of the extra chromosome on the gene expression patterns on the other chromosomes.

“By focusing our efforts on LuMind RDS’ four recently defined research categories, I am confident that LuMind RDS, together with partner organizations, the NIH and pharmaceutical industry players, will continue to make rapid progress towards our mission of meaningfully improving the lives of those living with Down syndrome,” Hillerstrom added.

Individuals with Down syndrome — a set of conditions caused by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21 — face challenges with cognitive development, autoimmune disorders, early-onset of Alzheimer’s and other conditions. LuMind RDS’ research has the potential to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands living in the US and millions more worldwide. At the same time people with Down syndrome may through participation in research help achieve a better understanding of many conditions occurring in the general population.

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About Hampus Hillerstrom

Hampus Hillerstrom co‐founded Proclara Biosciences in 2007, a company developing a novel approach for treating Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other protein misfolding diseases, and, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer until joining LuMind RDS as CEO. Previously he spent three years as an associate at leading European biotech venture capital firm HealthCap where he participated in a large number of investment transactions including several IPOs. Hampus also spearheaded a project at AstraZeneca to evaluate decision‐making leading to Phase III clinical trials and worked on the pharmaceutical industry at investment bank Lazard. Hampus holds a Masters in Economics and Finance from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MSc in Health Sciences and Technology from MIT/Harvard Medical School (HST). Hampus and his wife have two children, including their oldest son Oskar who has Down Syndrome.


About LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation

LuMind RDS is a non-profit foundation founded in 2004 that has already provided about $17M in funding towards Down syndrome research. We solely focus on the discovery and development of new treatments for children and adults with Down syndrome, to allow them to live more independent lives, improve their cognitive abilities and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. LuMind RDS is a science-focused organization and does not have any ideological affiliations. The research that LuMind has funded has led to the discovery of multiple Down syndrome-specific cognition targets and to translational work, including the clinical testing of several therapeutic approaches in individuals with Down syndrome. To learn more about the LuMind RDS grants program and research approach visit LuMindRDS.org/research, to support funding for more research visit events.LuMindRDS.org/donate.


Please contact Marly Chevrette at mchevrette@lumindrds.org for interviews with LuMind RDS Foundation CEO, Hampus Hillerstrom.